Fodor's Expert Review Isole di Brissago
Alpine drama and subtropical colors are wed in Brissago, yet another flowery lakefront resort at the lowest elevation in Switzerland. It's an easy excursion by car or bus from Ascona. The main attraction, the federally protected Brissago Islands, are set like jewels in the lake. Their botanical gardens teem with more than a thousand species of subtropical plants, identified by plaques in Italian, German, and French. An English guide to the plants is for sale for 8 SF at the gate. Have lunch or drinks at the restaurant in a beautifully restored 1929 villa. Boats bound for the islands depart regularly from Ascona (20 SF round-trip) and Locarno (34 SF round-trip). You must leave with the last boat back to the mainland—usually around 6 pm—so check the schedule carefully when planning your excursion.